You may have noticed some changes to this spring’s ClassroomsCare program. Teachers told us they were having a difficult time getting full participation in the reading challenge during the busy spring semester, so we decided to make it easier for you. This March, just place a classroom order, and Scholastic Book Clubs will donate a book to a wonderful literacy and mentoring organization called Everybody Wins! USA.
Scholastic Book Clubs encourages its employees to get involved with local schools in the New York area; so when I began working here two years ago, I knew I’d volunteer my time and services, but where? When a colleague asked me if I wanted to volunteer for the Everybody Wins! Power Lunch Program, I immediately looked into the literacy and mentoring program and was impressed. Two independent evaluations by the US Department of Education, and Loyola University of Chicago, documented the positive impact the program has had on low-income elementary school students nationwide. Their reading comprehension, general motivation and overall academic performance, classroom behavior, self confidence and social skills all improved as a result of this one-on-one mentoring program.
What began for me as a once-a-week commitment to making a difference in a child’s life has grown into a flourishing partnership for both of us. Nearly two years later, I’m still meeting my buddy, Linda, for our lunchtime reading sessions at her lower Manhattan Public School. We have a great time choosing books to read together, working on writing and other activities, and chatting.
Interested in learning more about Everybody Wins!, please visit everybodywins.org
Did you know that every November, Scholastic offers a very special catalog specifically aimed at providing great reading materials for the youngest readers? It’s true! We’ve partnered with Reach Out and Read, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preparing young children to succeed in schools by working with doctors to prescribe books and encourage families to read together. With our special Reach Out and Read! offer, we hope to not only provide your child with the best literature for the season, but also for children in need as well. With every item you order from this catalog, Scholastic will donate one book to Reach Out and Read’s worthy organization. It’s that simple!
Some very special titles that we’re excited about are:
Let’s Get a Checkup!
Pascal Lemaitre (of Firefighter Ted fame) is fast becoming one of our favorite illustrators, and this collaboration with author Alan Katz makes for a funny and informative animal story about going to the doctor!
Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse
One of my all-time favorite stories about a little mouse and his wish for a real friend. We love author/illustrator Leo Lionni!
Christmas with You
This is a very sweet holiday story that’s great for introducing family traditions during the season—a fantastic read-aloud!
Disney Classic Pooh: Mind Your Manners
Winnie-the-Pooh has been invited to a party, but can he use good manners to get along with others? A sweet manners lesson featuring classic Winnie-the-Pooh illustrations.
Knees and Toes!
Follow the teddy bears as they teach you about your head, shoulders, knees, and toes! Includes tabbed pages for easy turn-the-page fun for the littlest of learners.
For more reading tips and information about this great organization, visit www.reachoutandread.org. What do you and your child do as part of your reading routine?
New data released by the Census Bureau in October revealed that 43 million Americans are now living in poverty, the largest figure since the Bureau began collecting this information.
Incredibly, the one group of Americans bearing the brunt of this crisis is children. According to the new statistics, 15 million American children are living in poverty, many of whom are falling behind because they aren’t getting the same opportunities to succeed as other children. You may be surprised to learn that half of all low-income fourth graders are not reading at grade level. Books are essential for learning and development, but 60 percent of children in poverty have no age-appropriate books in their homes.
Save the Children’s U.S. Programs work to break the cycle of poverty by tapping into the power of public-private partnerships and giving children access to the resources they need to change their circumstances, such as a quality education, supportive instructors, and essential books for learning.
Through the support of the Scholastic Book Clubs’ Classrooms Care campaign and our longtime partnerships with local schools and communities, Save the Children has been able to provide kids living in some of the most impoverished areas of the United States with more than 2.5 million books during the past 20 years.
Our partnership works. Kids read an average of 64 books throughout the school year in our literacy programs and the percentage of children reading at or above grade level nearly doubled from the start of the school year to the end.
Education is the vehicle out of poverty. By providing kids with the tools to learn now we’re setting them on the pathway to lifelong success. America’s future depends on the investment we make in education today.
Senior Vice President for U.S. Programs
Save the Children
Photo Credit: Save the Children/Susan Warner
It’s simple, really. We work in our offices in Soho (great neighborhood!) in the lovely New York City, but you are our eyes and ears into the classroom. Scholastic Book Clubs really thinks of parents and teachers as partners—we’re all in it to help children across America find books they can’t wait to read.
So we tout our customer service phone numbers and e-mails on every catalog and online,
AND we even include an e-mail address for our President, Judy Newman, so that you can write to her with any book recommendations or suggestions (email@example.com). Comments like yours have made changes. No more service fees, unlimited enabling of catalogs online, Bonus Points (for teachers) starting at $1…and so much more.
In fact, I had the privilege of speaking to two teachers on Friday who had called customer service teams earlier in the week. (Yes, we care so much about what you have to say that we review comments and e-mails originally directed to our customer service team.) These two early childhood directors had said that their parents weren’t ordering online (“jumped on the bandwagon” as one of them put it) and didn’t know why. So I spoke to them about educating parents on online ordering: ways to teach them how to order, how to find what they want, and how to talk about the rewards they would receive just for ordering online. We then talked about the books that their students were gobbling up …and just kept talking. These two teachers gave me 30 minutes out of their hectic days, and they thought they were receiving help. I beg to differ. I learned so much, and was able to bring it all back to our teams here in NYC.
Thank you to these two teachers (you know who you are!), and to the thousands of teachers and parents who let us know how we can help.
Keep your ideas coming.
1-800-SCHOLASTIC & firstname.lastname@example.org
A Bad Case of the Stripes
Halloween is a time for goblins, witches, and black cats—but it’s also a time for Harry, Matilda, (Fancy) Nancy, Katniss, and the Frizz.
Do you and your kids or students plan to participate? Let us know which characters you think will be popular this year, and which ones you hope to see. (Pictures of your favorite costumes or innovators are welcome…they’ll help provide inspiration!)
Personally, I’m thinking I’ll be “Mouse” from If You Give a Mouse a Cookie…that way, I can carry around chocolate cookies (my favorite!) all night long.
What about my fellow Book Talkers?
Trevor: I wouldn’t dress up as this character, but it would be cool to see someone go as Ms. Frizzle.
Preeti: I’m going to be Paddington Bear!
Remember, share your pictures with us to let us know how your students/kids are dressing up. Feel free to submit them after the big day!
As a recent(ish) college grad, I have a lot of friends who are first-time teachers. They’re scattered all over—in Boston and San Francisco, in rural Pennsylvania, and in the southernmost part of Texas (hi, Sam!). I’ve been thinking about them a lot lately, because even though they’re some of the most wonderful, creative, and hardworking people I know, it’s clear that the first year of teaching is still a HUGE challenge.
Enter Scholastic Book Clubs. We know that we can’t help with all the challenges that new teachers and teachers-to-be face, but we can make it easier for you to get great, age-appropriate books for your classroom library. New teachers who sign up for Book Clubs can receive up to 25 FREE Books during their first year teaching, and Bonus Points and contests help you earn more books and curriculum tie-ins for your classroom! Plus, for those of you who are in training to become teachers, if you register on our Web site, we’ll send you info about awesome giveaways and sweepstakes so that by the time you do walk into your own classroom, you’ll have some great materials to bring with you.
But enough about us. New teachers and teachers-to-be, we want to hear from YOU about what kinds of rewards, materials, and programs you want to see available from Scholastic Book Clubs. Veteran teachers, we want to know what advice you can offer your colleagues who are just starting out in the world of teaching. And thanks again to all of you for working so hard to inspire a love of learning in your students!
This post comes to you from Liz, Guest Blogger and Recent Addition to the Book Clubs Family.
Arrow Catalog, 1978
Whenever I meet people and tell them where I work, I always say (proudly!), “I work for Scholastic Book Clubs!” If they don’t immediately remember what it is, I inform them that Book Clubs is the division where we work with teachers across America, give them the flyers to pass out to the students, the students go home and talk about the books on the flyers with their parents, place their orders, and then…the iconic book boxes arrive in classrooms!
Each time I go through this explanation, it’s rare that I don’t receive a smile, a “Oh, my goodness, I remember those!”, or a “I used to circle almost every book in the flyers and beg my parents to buy them all for me!”
AWESOME Tote Bag!
Yes, we’ve enabled online ordering for teachers and parents. Yes, we’re on social media (and loving it!). But the heart of our business—partnering with teachers and parents to find the books that kids can’t wait to read—remains.
And we love walking down memory lane. Why, I even carry this AWESOME bag around NYC that features some of our older catalogs!
What do you remember about Book Clubs?
Want to walk down memory lane with a few others? Click on the links below for some other nostalgic Book Clubs bloggers.
SeeSaw Catalog, 1986
My new favorite: http://bit.ly/cqoDl5
And some others: